Three men from Miami were arrested Monday after they stole information from a business computer located at an auto parts store in Key Largo.
Witnesses called the Sheriff’s Office at 10:30 a.m. after they saw two of the men tampering or accessing a computer located behind the front counter at Advanced Discount Auto Zone at the 99 mile marker of the highway. When the suspects realized they’d been seen, they ran out of the store and jumped into a blue 2004 Dodge Durango, yelling at the driver to leave quickly. The vehicle, which almost hit a store employee as it drove away, was seen leaving northbound. A notice to be on the lookout for it was put out over police radios.
Deputy E.B. Askins spotted the vehicle at the 101 mile marker northbound. He stopped it at the 104 mile marker of the highway. Detective Sgt. David Carey responded to the store and spoke with the witness, who explained what he saw. Det. Sgt. Carey then radioed Deputy Askins and told him to look for an electronic device he believed the men used to access and copy customer data in the auto store’s computer.
About 30 feet away from the traffic stop, on the side of the road, Deputy Askins found such a device, purple in color, which had apparently been thrown from the suspect’s vehicle just before they were stopped. The witness said he saw such a device in the possession of the suspects inside the store.
Further investigation revealed 40 year old Amaury Medero went into the store with the device, accompanied by 20 year old Leandry Parada-Martinez. 40 year old Manuel Parada waited in the vehicle. According to Parada and Parada-Martinez, Medero “stole something from behind the counter” while Parada-Martinez stood by waiting for him.
Witnesses from the store identified all three men as the suspects involved in the criminal incident. All three men were arrested. Medero had a fake credit card in his possession which he had used at the auto store to make a small purchase. The sales receipt for the fraudulent purchase was found in his possession.
Medero was charged with accessing a computer without permission from the owner, possession of a fake credit card, use of a fake credit card, tampering with evidence and aggravated assault. Parada was charged with being a principle to the crimes Medero committed and with aggravated assault. Parada-Martinez was charged with being a principle to the crimes Medero committed.
All three men were booked into jail.